Lesson: One of the greatest skills you can teach your child is how to research and figure out how to do things themselves. They learn to be more resourceful. This is a lesson that my mother taught me over the years and continues to model to this day. I have observed my mother teach herself how to do countless things because she takes the time to read and figure it out on her own instead of asking someone else how to do something. As her only daughter, it was important to my mother that I not depend on anyone else to get things done.
This is a life long skill that has benefited me greatly! I have never been the smartest person in my class but because I developed the skills of reading and researching, I was not only able to go far in my education but I have also been able to teach myself how to do a lot of different things.
Here are a few things you can do with your child to foster a “read to learn how” skill:
Read directions and go through the steps: One of the easiest ways to start this practice with young children is by having them begin to read and understand the instructions of setting up a new toy or game. Instead of un-packaging and setting up the next toy or game your child receives, have them sit down, read the instructions and go through the steps with you. Having them experience the self-gratification of the process will benefit them greatly as they build the confidence to approach tasks like that independently.
Find an interest to develop: Another way to encourage your child to “read to learn how” is by helping them find something that interests them and then find a book, e-book or article of some sort that they can read and teach themselves. There is such a wealth of FREE information and knowledge on the Internet and YouTube today, that we are able to teach ourselves just about anything we are interested in. For example, maybe your child is interested in learning sign language, building their own remote control car, planting his or her own garden, cooking a special dish, or making a homemade candle. There are directions and books on literally anything you can think of. Guiding your child through this process will teach them a skill they will use for the rest of their life.
Application: Be intentional about modeling the skill of “reading to learn how” to your children and then be intentional about providing them opportunities to develop that skill as well.